Amar Chitra Katha releasing a graphic biography of Jim Corbett on his 137 birth anniversary
To mark Jim Corbett’s 137 birth anniversary, Amar Chitra Katha is releasing a graphic biography on the conservationist in bookstores across the country on July 25.
The comic is a tribute to Corbett who was aware of his role of a conservationist and went out of his way to spread the message of protecting wildlife. The message succeeded in creating awareness among the people of his generation, especially children, to do their bit for conservation.
The new title portrays Corbett’s life as a hunter, photographer, conservationist and author.
Handled his first gun at the age of six
“Jim Corbett – Friend of the Wild” traces the life of Corbett from the time he was six-year-old and handled his first gun till his demise in 1955. It focuses on the famous personality who discovered the real world of animals and birds and also highlights his extraordinary success as a big game hunter of man-eating tigers and leopards.
The graphic biography was completed in a year. The research and scripting was done by Tripti Nainwal, who went through all biographies of Corbett.
Interestingly, Tripti belongs to Nainital and her familiarity with the Kumaon region helped her in scripting the comic.
According to Tripti, reading about Corbett was an “eye-opener” as one tends to know him only as a hunter.
“Though I belong to the same region as Jim Corbett himself, I had no idea that he was much more than just a talented hunter. He believed in conservation and started working towards it in his own mild manner long before it became the buzz word. It was a pleasure to discover the man behind all the tales.”
Artist Ghanshyam Bochgeri worked closely with Tripti to get the illustrations right, particularly the panels where Jim confronts man-eaters.
Since no photograph of Corbett as a child was available, the most challenging part was visualising him.
“Finally after many rough sketches a look was finally approved. I had frequent discussions with the writer, wherever I had a doubt or got stuck in the middle of a page. The most interesting aspect of this comic was that all the incidents were real and had actually happened, especially the confrontations with the man-eaters. It was a great experience illustrating Jim Corbett,” says Ghanshyam.
Before the country-wide launch, the 48-page “Jim Corbett - Friend of the Wild” was released at the famous Gurney House in Nainital on Friday where Corbett lived many years of his life.
According to Amar Chitra Katha Editor Reena Puri, the launch has been organised with Nilanjana Dalmia whose grandfather bought the house from Corbett when he left for Africa on the eve of India’s Independence.
A mark of respect
“We chose the house as a mark of respect for the man who worked tirelessly for conservation in the Kumaon region. And what better way than to release his graphic biography at the house where he lived. The house has been well preserved. We are organising the launch on July 21 because people, especially children, at Nainital are free on weekends. Corbett belonged to Nainital and there are a number of stories which people in the region are familiar.”
Noting that Corbett was much ahead of his times, Ms. Kapoor says he realised that something urgently needs to be done to protect our environment. “It is now that the world is waking up to the realities of climate change. When it came to saving villages of Kumaon and Garhwal, he killed man-eating tigers and leopards who were harassing the locals. His fearlessness and amazing success rate made him a hero of the locals.”